Online Textbook Bacteriology is continuously updated and includes information on Staphylococcus, MRSA, Streptococcus, pseudomonas, anthrax, E. coli, cholera, tuberculosis, Lyme disease and other bacterial pathogens that cause diseases of humans.
Kenneth Todar is the author of the Online Textbook of Bacteriology and an emeritus lecturer at the University of encourages people to wear a FDA approved face mask during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Online Textbook of Bacteriology is about microbes, including staph, MRSA, strep, anthrax, E. coli, salmonella cholera, pneumonia, meningitis, gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, Lyme disease and other bacterial pathogens.
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Kenneth Todar currently teaches Microbiology 100 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His main teaching interest include general microbiology, bacterial diversity, microbial ecology and pathogenic bacteriology.

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This work is dedicated to Hans Zinsser, a great American microbiologist of the early 20th century, who rightfully claims the name of the original Textbook of Bacteriology

Hans Zinsser was born November 17, 1878, in New York.

Zinsser obtained his doctorate from Columbia University in 1903. From 1903 to 1910 he was a bacteriologist at Roosevelt Hospital, an assistant pathologist at St. Luke's Hospital, and instructor for bacteriology at Columbia University. In 1910 he became associate professor at Stanford University, then full professor at Columbia University in 1913, and professor at Harvard University in 1923.

Zinsser made major contributions to bacteriology and public health. In 1906 he developed a medium and a simple method to plate anaerobic organisms. He did extensive work on typhus, and in 1934 he developed a vaccine of killed rickettsias that would protect against typhus.

Zinsser was an assistant to bacteriologist Philip Hanson Hiss (1868-1913), and was his co-writer on six editions of the Textbook of Bacteriology, published from 1910 until 1928.

Zinsser published Rats, Lice and History in 1935 ..... "being a study in biography, which, after 12 preliminary chapters indispensable for the preparation of the lay reader, deals with the life history of typhus fever".

"We have chosen to write the biography of our disease because we love it platonically - as Amy Lowell loved Keats - and have sought its acquaintance wherever we could find it. And in this growing intimacy we have become increasingly impressed with the influence that this and other infectious diseases, which span - in their protoplasmic continuities - the entire history of mankind, have had upon the fates of men."

Hans Zinsser died in 1940.

Adapted from Ole Daniel Enersen, Hans Zinsser (

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Kenneth Todar has taught microbiology to undergraduate students at The University of Texas, University of Alaska and University of Wisconsin since 1969.

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